Home Featured “Working long nights” key to Charlie Wurz and Prema’s F4 UAE title

“Working long nights” key to Charlie Wurz and Prema’s F4 UAE title

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 UAE

Formula 4 United Arab Emirates champion Charlie Wurz has credited his title to the work done with his Prema team mid-season that sent him to the front of the field.

After winning the first ever race for the new Tatuus T-421 car at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last December, Wurz picked up only one podium from four races on his return to Yas Marina Circuit for the F4 UAE season opener which left fifth in the points.

He rose a spot in round two with two podiums on Dubai Autodrome’s International layout, then in eight races on the circuit’s Grand Prix layout took two wins, three poles, six podiums and the points lead. He comfortably won the title in the Yas Marina finale.

“The Formula 1-supporting Trophy round was definitely an important learning experience for all us drivers to get to grips with the new car, and also to see how the F1 drivers tackle the new Yas Marina track layout and learn from their experience,” Wurz explained to Formula Scout.

“I found that the Gen2 Tatuus chassis behaves quite differently to the [previous generation] Tatuus T-014 and therefore requires a different driving style, which I have had to adjust to over the F4 UAE championship. The Gen2 is challenging to drive but rewarding at the same time.”

Prior to heading to the Middle East, Wurz’s single-seater experience amounted to two rounds in Italian F4 with Prema in the T-014. He said “there will be an announcement shortly” on what his European programme for 2022 is, most likely in F4.

Wurz was fourth in the Austrian Rallycross Championship’s N1600 class last year, and in Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe came first and third in the GT4 class in his two races at the Hungaroring – the latter being the ‘100 Miles of Hungary’. In the equivalent Middle East series he sits fourth in the 2021-22 season’s GT4 class after contesting two rounds and winning three times out of four including both Saudi Arabian Grand Prix support races in Jeddah.

As part of the Prema stable in F4, Wurz had the benefit of his full-time team-mates’ data to compare to and overcome his own problems.

“My engineer Andrea Ambrosio was new to the team this season, but I think he settled in quite well as we won both the Trophy round in December and also the championship,” Wurz said. “We improved and developed the car together over these past few weeks, which will be useful for our European campaign.

“We had a few technical issues at the beginning which hampered our performance in the first rounds. But the team and I worked long nights to solve the issues we were facing. We solved the issue going into round three, and the results showed.

“I had lots of close and hard racing during the season [with my team-mates], which I really enjoyed. I’m sure these exciting battles will carry on in Europe.”